Yoshi’s Woolly World – Review

This month i’ve been feeling like everything around me is cute, cuddly and woolly, and it’s all down to the latest game we’ve been reviewing on the Wii U as part of the Nintendo Family Bloggers – Yoshi’s Woolly World.

The game is a beautiful puzzler, full of colour and cuddly yarn filled enemies.

Jacob and I absolutely love this game, and we especially love that we can play it together as two Yoshi’s helping each other out to finish the level.

In the game you jump around and flutter between platforms, collecting yarn balls and tossing them at enemies as you go.

You can find yarn balls inside big sewing boxes dotted around the place, and also make yarn balls from your enemies instead of eggs as Yoshi usually does.

As well as shooting your yarn balls at enemies, Yoshi also needs to throw them to create platforms, or sometimes to find secret entrances and hidden rooms.

Each level has tons of collectables to find as you play. If you can find them all you can unlock bonus levels.

One of the funniest parts of the game is when Yoshi suddenly unravels, and then knits himself into an accessory like an umbrella, or a mega Yoshi. It’s exciting when it happens to see what Yoshi is going to change himself into.

Another great feature is the really cool way Yoshi’s Wooly World can use Amiibo’s.

The new Woolly Yoshi Amiibo is definitely my favourite Amiibo so far, he’s gorgeous.

However in the game, if you have other Amiibos like Bowser or Mario, you can change your in game Yoshi to change into one of those.

Mario Yoshi is the funniest we think, as it’s hilarious seeing Yoshi with the plumbers curvy little moustache.


I so wish I could knit as we had such an amazing box of crafting things sent to us from Nintendo with a copy of the game, including some yarn and knitting needles. I’ve even been on Youtube trying to learn as I would love to make a cuddly Yoshi of my own, but to be honest I’m getting nowhere. I will get there eventually though, I’m not giving up :)

Yoshi’s Woolly World is a really fun game, whether playing alone or with a friend. I like the way that if you want you can power through the level as fast as you can and progress onwards. Or you can take your time and try to find every single collectable and hidden area. It’s really up to you.

Thanks so much to Nintendo for our awesome Yoshi’s Woolly World Bloggers box.

 

 

A Very Nintendo Christmas!

Greeting readers :)

Sorry for the lateness of my first post of the year, but boy has it started with a bang. I’ve been literally rushed off my feet with kids, sickness, hospital’s, driving lessons, school, and everything else.

Christmas was a great break, although I don’t really feel like I had a break now I’ve been so busy.

One thing though that helps me unwind after a hard day is some lovely family time.

As a family amongst other things one thing we do really enjoy doing together is playing video games, and this Christmas and new year has been all about Nintendo and the Wii U.

We’ve been having loads of fun playing Captain Toad Treasure Tracker together, which is a puzzle game where you navigate Toad around with the gamepad. It’s tricky as sometimes it looks like Captain Toad is stuck, and you need to move the picture around and change the way you view the screen. It gives you a new perspective on the puzzle, and you’ll hopefully see the path you need.

If you’ve ever played Fez it’s a bit similar to that, however with Captain Toad you get familiar enemies like Goombas to negotiate. It’s a lot of fun.

Another game that Thomas has spent way too many hours on this christmas season is Pokemon Omega Ruby. He loves Pokemon games, and said that this is definitely his favourite yet. He said it’s great that you can collect loads of legendary Pokemon like Latios and Rayquaza. He loves the new Mega Evolution Pokemon as well.

He also likes the new Pokemon contests you can compete in. I’m not sure what these are, but he says they are a good new part of the game.

Me and hubby have also been having a whale of a time playfully beating each other up in the new Super Smash Bros Wii U game. We’ve managed to unlock most of the hidden characters too, with only the Duck Hunt ones left.

Pacman is my fighter of choice, whereas hubby always goes Captain Falcon. He’s dying for Nintendo to make a new F-Zero for the Wii U, that would be his dream.

Nintendo Uk were lovely enough to send us some of their new Amiibo figures to use with the game, plus father christmas then contributed a few more, so we all have our own one now. I have Princess Peach, Daddy is Mario, Jacob has a little Yoshi and Thomas got his favourite Pickachu.

Amiibo’s are Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures, but there’s not just one title or series that they are compatible with. Amiibo figures are set to be compatible with a whole range of different games across the Wii U and 3DS consoles.

You’ll need a new version of the 3DS to play with the Amiibo figures, but the Wii U gamepad has a reader for them already built-in. It’s great that you don’t need an additional peripheral or portal for them. Plus they look amazing all together as a collection along the mantlepiece.

Nintendo are releasing sets of Amiibo’s in waves. Apart from the always popular Mario and Link, most Amiibo’s look to be for a limited time only whilst you can find them, so get straight out and get them if there’s a particular character you just have to own.

We’ve already placed a pre-order for some of the next wave of Amiibo’s, as Thomas is gutted that the Little Mac figure is already sold out.

So all in all this Christmas seems to have been totally dominated by Nintendo in the Toybuzz household. Lots of Super Smashing, Pokemoning, Tresure tracking and Amiibo training has been going on.

 

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Monopoly – Review

It’s TMNT time again, and today the turtles are turning into property magnets in Teenage Mutant Turtles Monopoly

Previously we had brilliant fun with the other Turtles games from Winning Moves we reviewed – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Connect 4 and Top Trumps, so we had high hopes for the TMNT Monopoly.

Game Pieces

First impressions are really good. We all were very impressed with the gorgeous games pieces modelled on the four turtles – Mikey, Donnie, Raph, and Leo, Plus Splinter and Shredder.

They have a lovely weight, so don’t fall over whilst your playing.

The only slight downside we noticed from playing is that the turtles can be hard to distinguish between, and sometimes one of us moved the wrong piece.

Board Spaces 

The best part of getting a new Monopoly version is seeing what the makers have done with the names on the board.  If your thinking that being a turtles board game every stop is going to a Pizza shop then your mistaken, One is actually Noodles. No honestly, there’s a great mix of destinations like Shredder’s Hideout, Krang’s Warehouse and Splinters Dojo just to name three.

Now I’ll admit were not the biggest Turtles fanboys and don’t confess to know everything about them, but we do watch the cartoons and knew the majority of places named on the board. I think the only couple on the board which we stumped us were Byerly Building, T.C.R.I Building and the Argosy Theatre.

Speaking of pizza though don’t fret, every game will have its fair share of pizza time for fans to enjoy. We found it funny that instead of the super tax a few spaces after go, it’s Pizza Tax!  Theres also a fair deal of pizza related occurrences in the Turtle Power and Mutagen Cards which replace the usual Community chest and chance. Things like ‘Pizza Bill pay 50′ or ‘Pizza delivery is late receive 100′.

The most coveted spaces on the board were where the train stations are usually found. These are now home to the turtles four modes of transport – The Patrol Buggy, The Shellraiser, The Stealth Cycle and a Skateboard. Everyone wanted to own these, but Jacob was the lucky one who managed to negotiate his way to getting the whole set.

 

We had a shell-tastic time playing this turtles themed Monopoly together, so much so that the kids want to play it again tonight! If you’re a TMNT fan or even just a lover of Monopoly varieties you’ll be onto a winner with this game.

 

Thanks to Winning Moves for sending us a copy of Teenage Mutant Monopoly for review

 

 

Christmas in July #2

Following on from my previous Christmas in July adventures yesterday, Last Saturday Thomas, Jacob and I attended the Mi-Christmas Open House near Paddington.

We had a simply amazing day and the boys haven’t stopped talking about it yet.

Usually I don’t have the opportunity to take the kids with me to these kind of events, so it was great to get them both involved. Thomas even took on the job as official blog photographer for the day, and I think he’s got quite a knack for it. All the photos today were taken by him (proud mum alert)

We saw lots of great brands and products, so here’s just a snap shot of all the things we saw.

Annoying Orange

The first thing we just had to see and get out-of-the-way was the Annoying Orange Kitchen Crew. Both of the boys are just mad about the Annoying Orange characters, so this just had to be the first stop or I’d never here the end of it.

We saw some great T-shirts and Pyjamas,  tons of Annoying Orange Plush toys and key rings like the ones we reviewed here earlier this year, Joke Books if you can take Orange’s jokes, and some Annoying Orange Morph Suits which are due to be released later this year.

Start-Rite Shoes

We had a good look around the brand new ranges from Start-Rite, and I just couldn’t help but be drawn to the new collection of Start Rite By Myleene Klass. If you have a little girl there are some beautiful shoes like the Carmen or the Princess Ida. Plus I was so pleased that the boys didn’t get left out, as the Sullivan and the Captain styles are some really smart shoes with serious style.

 

Sonic The Hedgehog and Sega

Next we headed upstairs to see a children’s bedroom kitted head to toe in Sonic The Hedgehog goodies. The kids went mad over this room, and made a mental checklist of everything inside for their perfect new bedroom :) Sonic has always been a family favourite, as I instilled my love of Sonic into them from an early age.

Thomas was thrilled to get an exclusive play of the new Wii-U Sonic Game ‘Sonic Lost World’. Coming out this November  it’s a mix of 2D and 3D levels. So hopefully something to please both new and old Sonic The Hedgehog fans.

Our top toy picks from the Sonic room were the Sonic the Hedgehog Pinball Machine (available at £14.99 from The Entertainer) The Sonic The Hedgehog Meccano Playsets, which we previously reviewed, and the Sonic Bike (£120 available from Argos)

As for mummy the huge Sonic mug from Half Moon Bay caught my eye. It looks like it could hold about a pint of tea, It was a massively giant mug.

We also got to meet with the main man himself, and have some of his yummy christmas cake. Worth the trip just for that!

Entertainer Toys

Up another floor of the house and we arrived at the Entertainer Toy Shop Room where they were showing of their pick of the top toys for Christmas 2013.

We saw some amazing new Hexbugs that can climb up walls, A new version of the Logo game called Logo Billionaire, and a really quite creepy Monsters University Sulley mask which actually moves his mouth and eyes as you move yours.

Our interest was piqued however by the latest version of Monopoly, Monopoly Empire. This one totally won us all over, and It will definitely be a must have for us this christmas.

In Monopoly Empire instead of buying streets as you travel around the board, you buy companies. Cool companies I might add, which everyone will want to own. Nerf, Coca Cola, Xbox, McDonalds are just some of the big names.

The game pieces have also been updated, including a tiny gold Xbox controller, Coke bottle, Football boot, and packet of McDonalds fries.

We are already having arguments over who’s going to have the Xbox Controller piece!

JCB Kids

Across the hall and we arrived at the JCB Kids Bedroom. This is a little boys dream bedroom if ever I saw one. Even Thomas who’s 8 was bowled over by the bed in the shape of a JCB Digger, and the huge JCB wall mural behind the bed.

Theres not just a JCB bed either, you can now get the whole bedroom decked out in your favourite diggers. Wardrobes, Tables and Chairs, Toy Boxes and much more are available from Tesco, Asda and Mothercare amongst others.

 

Sadly my two have grown our of their JCB toys now, but I still have happy memories of Thomas on his digger and Jacob in his JCB Coat which he wore everywhere.

Jacob has had lots of JCB Kids clothing over the last few years. The aforementioned coat, jeans, Jumpers, and t-shirts and shorts. All were really great quality, and lasted for a long time. So I can highly recommend the My 1st JCB range of clothes you can pick up at Tesco and Asda

 

Carte Blanche Group – Tatty Teddy, Blue Nose Friends and Me to You

Another Bedroom, and this time it was decked out head to toe in Tatty Teddy and his Blue Nose Friends.

I just love the whole Tatty Teddy and Blue Nose gang, so I was totally in my element in this room.

We got to take home a wonderful new Tatty Teddy plush with a brand new ultra soft fur.He is so soft and cuddly it’s adorable, and has instantly gained a place on my bed.

As well as the hundreds of Plush friends we saw, I also loved the range of wrapping paper, Gift Bags and Christmas Tree ornaments on display.

The gift bags were especially beautiful, with a snowy image of Tatty Teddy making a snowman. Some of the snow was highlighted with glitter, and it makes for a truly Christmassy scene.

The Tatty Teddy toy playsets were also a big hit with the boys. We had a great time playing with the My Blue Nose Friends Tatty Teddy Heart House, and all the My Blue Nose Friends toy Figures.

 

Nickelodeon

Our last bedroom, and boy this was a good one for my boys. It was the Nickelodeon room, and it was jam-packed with everything a boy could want.

We spent around 30 minutes in this one room alone playing with all the latest Turtles toys like the Turtle Pop Up Pizza Playset, and the SpongeBob Squarepants push along Krabby Patty Car.

We also saw some toddler toys in the form of these Interactive Dinosaur Train figures. Each of the animals can talk to each other, and even knows which other Dinosaur Train friends are nearby so they can talk and sing together wirelessly.

Finally we’d made it all the way to the top of the house, just in time for a spot of Swingball on the roof garden in the most glorious sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all had a really funtastic day, and thanks to everyone at the Mi-Christmas Open House for having us.

Dinosaur Train – Review

 Monday 12th March, sees a new cartoon series start on preschool favourite Nick Jr called Dinosaur Train.

Brought to you by the Jim Henson Company and Created by Craig Bartlett of Hey Arnold! Fame, I was very happy when offered to take a sneak peek at the first two episodes.

The series is based around the Pteranodon family of Mum, Dad, Don, Tiny, Shiny, and Buddy. Buddy isn’t actually a Pteranodon, but when his egg hatched at the same time as his brothers and sisters he was instantly excepted into the family as one of them however different he was.

Buddy is always searching for answers to his many questions and queries, and they can usually be found by hopping on board for a trip on the Dinosaur train. On the Dinosaur they meet new Dinosaurs, talk to the friendly and very knowledgable conductor, and occasionally travel through the time tunnel to meet different species of Dinosaurs.

In the first episode they travelled all the way from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous to meet some Stygimolochs and find out about Dinosaurs with Horns.

Me and My 4yr old sat down this morning to give Dinosaur Train a go, and we both really enjoyed it. Jacob just sat there glued to the screen for 22 minutes, which is surprising for him as he’s usually half watching something and also playing with 3 different things at the same time. However Dinosaur Train got his full attention.

I was very impressed that the show didn’t dumb anything down at all. All the Facts included such as dinosaur breeds, and the different time periods  were all given their full proper names, not made up more palatable for kids versions.

The plethora of different Dinosaur’s featured is just immense, and not just the usual suspects which show up in all kids shows. Coming up during the first 10 episodes are  Palaeobatrachus,  Peteinosaurus, Corythosaurus, Argentinosaurus, and Ornithomimus. In this aspect Dinosaur Train shows pre-schoolers such a huge amount of respect, which is justified by the way that Jacob watched so intently.

Dinosaur Train starts 12th March on Nick Jr, and you can hop on board  at 4pm weekdays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dora and Spongebob hit the shops!

To celebrate Dora the Explorers 10th Anniversary, her and SpongeBob SquarePants will be embarking on a 7 stop tour of UK shopping centres to meet and greet with their fans.

They will both be appearing at

  • Lakeside Shopping centre, Thurrock – 26th and 27th July
  • Braehead Shooping Centre, Glasgow – 30th and 31st July
  • Metrocentre, Gateshead – 2nd and 3rd August
  • Arndale Centre, Manchester – 5th and 6th August
  • Victoria Centre, Nottingham – 7th and 8th August
  • Meadowhall centre, Sheffield – 10th and 11th August
  • The Harlequin Centre, Watford – 13th and 14th August

It looks like there will be several different show times at each date and you will have to sign up on the day and get a wristband to the show you wish to see.

You can either opt for a pirate adventure with Dora, or a trip to the depths of Bikni Bottom with SpongeBob.

There will be a game and activity area, special giveaways and prizes, and a Nickelodean photographer will be there to capture your personnel meeting with the stars. After the event you will be able to log onto the Nick Jr website and print out your photos free of charge.

Disappointingly for my boys they don’t come as far as Wales, or even Bristol as we probably would have gone to see SpongeBob, oh well maybe they’ll come down and see us next year.

Super Hero Squad Cartoon Series

Wow the excitement is killing me! In our house were counting down the days till the new Marvel Super Hero Squad cartoon lands in the U.K.

Not content with playing the new Super Hero Squad game on his PSP for all hours, then playing with the action figures, reading the books before bed and now were going to have to watch the TV show too.

I don’t really mind watching though, in fact I’m quite looking forward to it. We have watched a few clips of episodes on the Marvel website and it looks really good, full of bad puns and wise cracks (which is the things my son loves most about comics).

Featuring all your favorite hero’s and villains like Doctor Doom, M.O.D.O.K,  Ironman, Silver Surfer, Hulk (who my son thought was hilarious!) and many more. My son nearly wet himself when he saw Fin Fang Foom in the opening credits, we’ll have to see what he’s like when he finally turns up in an episode. I’ve bought him the Fin Fang Foom Super Hero Squad Figure for Christmas, as he’s his favourite I can’t wait to see his face when he opens him up.

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3 X Marvel Spiderman Super Hero Squad Figure 3-pack - Battle Against Venom (spider-man, Venom And Anti-venom) (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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Marvel - Super Hero Squad - 13" - Captain America - High Quality Plush (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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Hasbro Marvel Superhero Squad Mini Figure 7pack Avengers Attack Crossbones, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, Leader, Black Costume Spiderman, Red Shehulk (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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Marvel Super Hero Squad The Infinity Gauntlet (ShopTo.Net) ShopTo.Net Logo

£47.05

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£36.72

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£24.31

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Marvel Super Hero Squad - The Infinity Gauntlet (Gameseek) Gameseek Logo

£26.09

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£26.09

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£23.09

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£23.09

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£21.11

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£21.11

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£21.11

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£21.11

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£21.11

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£21.11

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£21.09

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£21.09

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Marvel Super Hero Squad - The Infinity Gauntlet 2 (Gameseek) Gameseek Logo

£13.13

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£11.49

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£10.41

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£5.81

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£25.00

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£25.00

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There is a fairly loose plot to keep the whole thing tied together which involves the squad protecting Super Hero City from VillianVille and keeping Doctor Doom from collecting all the pieces of the infinity sword, but basically it’s just lots of good old comic book  fighting and humour. Oh and lots of shouting of “Hero up!” which is the catchphrase used by Ironman, when he gets a team together to fight the bad guys.

It’s also got a great theme tune, which is essential in my book if you want to get me interested. Sounds alot like the Shaggy and Scooby Doo get a clue theme if you ask me, but it does the trick.

It’s starting Monday 1st November on NickToons at 07:00, so set your Sky+ now in preparation and get prepared to have the theme tune going round your head all day in no time. Hero up!

Mega Bloks Yo Gabba Gabba! Toys

I hope i’m not going to deeply offend any huge Yo Gabba Gabba fan’s with this statement but…..I didn’t really rate series two. Ok I’ve said it, it’s out in the open, and I feel better now. I felt that the song’s were much weaker in the second series, and were just rejigged versions of the original classics. Don’t get me wrong I still love Yo Gabba! but just felt disappointed after waiting so long to see them.

Anyway my kids both still love Plex, Muno, Brobee, Toodee and Foofa, especially Jacob my very nearly two year old. With this in mind I’ve been pleased to see more and more Yo Gabba toy’s being introduced to these shores. The best of the new crop of products seems to me to be the Mega Bloks range of Yo Gabba Gabba branded playsets.

The Mega Bloks Yo Gabba Gabba! Boombox is just what all pre-schoolers have been waiting for, their own mini version of DJ Lances iconic boombox or suitcase as my son calls it. Styled to look just like the real thing complete with carrying handle, open it up and unfold it out to find everything you need for your own Gabba dance party.

Inside you’ll find a dancing stage, spinning podium, disco balls and disco lighting, even your own TV for watching the Super Music Friends  show.  Press the keyboard buttons to party along to such Gabba classics as “Party in my tummy”, “It’s time to Dance” a personnel favourite, “Freeze tag” and the Yo Gabba Gabba! theme song. Use the special Plex FX button to add your own mix to the tunes.

Yo Gabba Gabba Gang Boombox 24 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£59.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba Boombox Carry Playset By Yo Gabba Gabba (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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The Mega Bloks Yo Gabba Gabba! Boombox comes with a dancing Brobee and dancing Foofa figures, when you press the button on top of their head they swing their arms around and dance for you. If you also want the Plex and Muno figures (which of course you will!) they are available for purchase separately or your best bet is to also get Plex’s tour buggy which comes with the two.

Mega Bloks Yo Gabba Gabba Plex's Tour Buggy 19 Pieces (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£14.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba Plex Character W/ Plex Buggy (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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Mega Bloks Yo Gabba Gabba! Plex’s Tour Buggy is a pimped up version of Plex’s yellow car we see in the show. Presumably it wasn’t rock and roll enough as it was, so it’s had snazzy flashing light blocks added…oh and it also transforms into a concert stage.  Comes complete with dancing Muno and guitar and a dancing Plex figure.

These are both great playsets for little Gabba fans and some big ones too. Also as they are Mega Bloks you can just use them to create whatever you want, maybe a Yo Gabba house for them all to live in….the choice is yours!

Funko Pop Television: Yo Gabba Gabba Brobee Vinyl Figure (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£120.95

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£38.82

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Funko Pop Television: Yo Gabba Gabba Muno Vinyl Figure (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£37.63

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Yo Gabba Gabba 4 Figure Vehicle Muno Plex Brobee Set Of 3 By Nickelodeon (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£37.20

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Yo Gabba Gabba! Dancey Dance Brobee Action Figure (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£31.06

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Yo Gabba Gabba 5 Inch Plush Figure Foofa (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£28.33

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Yo Gabba Gabba 6" Dancey Dance Talking Plex Figure (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£21.08

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Yo Gabba Gabba 9 Inch Plush Soft Figure Foofa Toy (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£16.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba 5 Inch Plush Figure Plex (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£15.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba 3" Figure Brobee (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£14.00

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£9.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba Brobee And Foofa 2 Pack Figure Set (Amazon) Amazon Logo

£9.99

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Yo Gabba Gabba Boom Box Playset: With Exclusive Brobee Cake Figure (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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Yo Gabba Gabba 5 Inch Plush Figure Toodee (Amazon) Amazon Logo

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New look Dora sparks parent backlash

Nickelodeons favourite pre-school adventurer Dora the Explorer is set for a radical new look. 

When owners Mattel recently revealed details on a new look Dora, and only a silhouette of Dora’s makeover it immediately created a storm of controversy.

Parenting websites and message boards are buzzing with the news and most parent’s seem to be against the overhaul. There’s even a “No Makeover for Dora the Explorer” petition site.

Swapping her trademark bob,casual shorts and backpack for flowing long hair ,short skirt and pointed shoes. 

And the changes don’t stop there. She’s also swapping the country life for a move to the big city.

but wait all is not what it seems…

After the huge amount of negative publicity the changes have received Nickelodeon and Mattel sought to set the record straight about Dora’s changes. 

The new Dora is not actually replacing Dora but will be a new interactive doll to be released in October in the U.S.

They also released the actual photo of her and it doesn’t  look as bad as the silhouette suggested.

The apparent short skirt was a flowing top with leggings underneath. A perfect example of imagining the worst without having all the facts.

It’s all part of a move to appeal more to the 5 – 8 year old market, girls which usually grow out of Dora once they start the first year of school.

The new interactive doll will come with a USB port, and will use online story lines involving Dora and her four new friends in new exploring adventures.

Unfortunately Boots, Backpack, Map and my favourite Swiper will not be joining Dora in her new adventures.

Time will tell whether the new news from Mattel will soothe angry parents, but the one’s who will ultimately decide the new look older Dora’s fate are the kids.